Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A broken foot slows you down..... A thought on expectations.....

March 8
So  I have not posted at all in the last 2 months and the reason is sort of ironic.  I broke my foot by landing on it incorrectly playing volleyball (remember the rule - always land on two).

Ironic because I have been chair bound for 12+ weeks; and yet I have not reflected on my teaching much, and have not blogged once since early April.  I did complete an award applicant which required reflection during that time which I will blog about later this summer.  Currently my mind is on why I have not blogged.

I know for me, in this case, when  large external stresses, non-normal stresses entered my life everything suffered.  I was not the same teacher (or same husband, dad or community member).

As a teacher, my students and I covered less, unfortunately learned less, and we did many more worksheets.  I was truly doing the best I could, yet it was less, seemingly to me far less, than before.  I think everyone understood from the students (my customers), to my co-workers, to my bosses (board, parents and administrators) but it was frustrating.

June 23
Working and learning are affected by outside situations.  A simple statement we often forget in teaching.  We have to be aware of our students, their life's and situations.  It is not fair to be equal.  When an external event happens to a student - that student's learning plan changes - because their capability to learn has changed.

Yet - sometimes I expect student's to make up too much work on their return or during a time of stress.  I need to remind myself that plans change as conditions change.  Meaning not everyone has to do problems 1, 3, 5 and 7 in Section 4.2 on page 240 -- they have to master the concept, but once external pressures come into play how that mastery is achieved must change.

So is this idea due to empathy?  Perhaps.  Sympathy?  Not sure.  But our job is to teach students regardless of conditions or situations  - which means we need to adjust our lessons on conditions and situations.

Now, finally, my foot is healing - crutch free I am now searching through new math curriculum.  But I have a renewed focus on working with students when life throws them their landing on one foot incidents.

And perhaps to help them land on two feet the next time.....